The Measles Vaccine: The Choice Is Yours
There has been a lot of talk lately about vaccinations and the proper course of action for parents with regard to vaccinating their children. I feel the need to present this essay due to my recent experiences. I’ve spent a lot of time looking into this and I intend to present what I have found. As a man of science I understand science is never settled so these findings can change at a later date as more data becomes available.
One of the first questions I have is what is measles? How deadly is it and how would you catch it? Let’s start with the first question. The signs and symptoms of measles include a fever that can last four days, a cough, rash, head cold and red eyes with a fever (Wikipedia).
It is important at this stage to understand how a virus works and how our immune system responds to this invasion. A virus is a particle that is about a thousand times smaller than bacteria and bacteria are much smaller than most human cells. A virus contains a Nucleic acid which is a set of genetic instructions like DNA or RNA, a coat of protein that surrounds that genetic instruction and sometimes a lipid membrane that surrounds the protein coat. Viruses themselves are not able to carry out the necessary functions for life so they must find a host cell where they will live and make more of themselves. Without this host cell a virus is basically dead. (Craig Freudenrich)
Once inside the cell the virus takes over the normal functions of the cell to the reproduction of the very same virus turning the cells in your body into a factory for producing more of that very same virus. Once this production has reached a point where the cell enzymes are not able to function properly the cells burst free from the host cell which releases the newly created viruses into the host system where they search for new host cells to repeat this very process until the immune system kicks in and fights off the invader or the host animal dies.
There are many different ways our body can detect the presence of a virus but once it does it sets in motion the most amazing defense system we have against such invaders. White blood cells called macrophages destroy germs as soon as they detect them while sometimes the use of white cells called T and B lymphocytes are used. Antibodies are a special protein made by B cells and they bind to a virus to stop it from replicating and also place a “tag” on these viruses so that other blood cells know to destroy them. T cells on the other hand act like guards that sound the alarm when they detect the presence of a virus while others kill virus-infected host cells directly. Once our body has fought off the virus some of these specialized B and T cells remain and retain a memory of the destroyed virus giving us a lifetime immunity to this same virus as long as our immune systems are healthy. This lifetime immunity if known as “acquired immunity”. Based on this having a single natural infection of the measles, mumps or any other infection will give us lifelong resistance.
Let’s compare this immunity to the Measles vaccine.
With the measles vaccine up to 15% of children fail to develop immunity to the first dose of the vaccine given at around 1 year which is why a booster is recommended – some children do not gain immunity even after two doses. Protection from the measles vaccine is supposed to last up to 11 years which means that assuming the child actually gains immunity to the virus it will have worn off completely by 16 years of age. This means that the vast majority of adults in this country are not protected against the measles virus. (Tietje)
To summarize, getting the virus at an age where we are healthy enough to fight it off we will develop lifetime immunity versus the measles vaccine where we are protected at best for 11 years. The latter is hardly lifetime immunity and if we are serious about wanting to eradicate this disease then it makes sense that we go the route of life time immunity or until we develop a better vaccine. This makes sense in light of a German study that was done comparing vaccinated children and non-vaccinated children. This German study released in September 2011 of about 8,000 unvaccinated children aged newborn to 19 years show that vaccinated children have at least 2 to 5 times more diseases and disorders than unvaccinated children. (Augenstein) This may seem like a bizarre contraction to common perceptions to most reading this but when we look at complications from this unnatural process the picture becomes clearer.
Let’s look at some of the adverse reactions to taking the MMR vaccine that is commonly thought to give you full immunity to the measles which as we now know it does not. The reactions are listed below basically as they appear on the vaccine insert with a brief description of what each item is when necessary.
Body As A Whole
PANNICULITIS: Is a group of diseases whose hallmark is inflammation of subcutaneous adipose issue. Symptoms include tender skin modules and systemic signs such as weight loss and fatigue.
ATYPICAL MEASLES: An altered expression of measles (AMS) which begins suddenly with high fever, headache, cough and abdominal pain. The rash may appear 1 to 2 days later, often beginning on the limbs. Swelling (edema) of the hands and feet may occur. Pneumonia is common and may persist for 3 months or more.
SYNCOPE: Also known as fainting or passing out. A short loss of consciousness and muscle strength. It is due to a decreased blood flow to the entire brain usually from low blood pressure.
VASCULITIS: A group of disorders that destroy blood vessels by inflammation where both arteries and veins are affected.
PANCREATITIS: Inflammation of the pancreas and requires immediate medical attention. This occurs when pancreatic enzymes, like trypsin, are activated in the pancreas instead of the small intestine.
PAROTITIS: An inflammation of one or both parotid glands, the major salivary glands located on either side of the face in humans.
DIABETES MELLITUS: Commonly referred to as diabetes, is a group of metabolic diseases in which there are high blood sugar levels over a prolonged period. Type 1 DM results from the body’s failure to produce enough insulin whereas type 2 begins with insulin resistance. (Note: The pancreas is the gland that produces and releases insulin. Anyone else see a connection between this and pancreatitis?)
Hemic and Lymphatic System (Circulatory and Immune System)
THROMBOCYTOPENIA: A disorder in which there is a relative decrease of thrombocytes, commonly known as platelets (blood cells whose function is to stop bleeding), present in the blood.
PURPURA: Red or purple discolorations on the skin that do not blanch on applying pressure. These discolorations are caused by bleeding underneath the skin usually secondary to vasculitis (see above) or dietary deficiencies of Vitamin C.
REGIONAL LYMPHADENOPATHY: Tenderness, pain and swelling of regional lymph glands indicative of proximal spread of distal infection (from the foot, usually associated with other signs of system infection, general malaise, pyrexia (abnormally high body temperature) and fever.
LEUKOCYTOSIS: A white blood cell count above the normal range in the blood. It is a frequent sign of an inflammatory response, most commonly the result of infection.
Anaphylaxis and anaphylactoid reactions have been reported as well as related phenomena such asangioneurotic edema (including peripheral or facial edema) and bronchial spasm in individuals with or without an allergic history.
ANAPHYLAXIS: A serious allergic reaction that is rapid in onset and may cause death. It typically causes a number of symptoms including an itchy rash, throat swelling and low blood pressure.
ARTHRITIS: a form of joint disorder that involves inflammation of one or more joints.
ARTHRALGIA: Literally means joint pain. It is a symptom of injury, infection, illnesses or an allergic reaction to medication.
MYALGIA: Muscle pain. Myalgia is a symptom of many diseases and disorders. Myalgia without a traumatic history is often due to viral infections.
POLYNEURITIS: Neuritis of several peripheral nerves at the same time.
NEURITIS: Inflammation of nerves. Causes include various viruses and locale irritation of a nerve.
ENCEPHALITIS: An acute inflammation of the brain.
ENCEPHALOPATHY: A disorder or disease of the brain. In modern usage, encephalopathy does not refer to a single disease, but rather to a syndrome of global brain dysfunction.
MEASLES INCLUSION BODY ENCEPHALITIS (MIBE): A disease of the immunocompromised host and typically occurs within 1 year of acute measles infection of vaccination. (Alexandra F. Freeman)
SUBACUTE SCLEROSING PANENCEPHALITIS (SSPE): Also known as Dawson Disease and is a rare and chronic form of progressive brain inflammation caused by a persistent infection with the measles virus. No cure for SSPE exists and the condition is often fatal.
GUILLAIN-BARRE SYNDROME (GBS): A medical condition in which there is a rapid-onset weakness of the limbs as a result of acute polyneuropathy (see above). The disease is usually triggered by an infection, which provokes immune-mediated nerve dysfunction.
ACUTE DISSEMINATED ENCEPHALOMYELITIS (ADEM): A rare autoimmune disease marked by widespread attack of inflammation in the brain and spinal cord. ADEM typically damages myelin, causing destruction of white matter. It is often triggered following a viral infection or vaccination.
TRANSVERSE MYELITIS: A neurological condition in which the spinal cord is inflamed. This inflammation damages nerve fibers and causes them to lose their myelin coating thereby leading to decreased electrical conductivity in the nervous system.
FEBRILE CONVULSIONS: An epileptic seizure associated with a high body temperature but without any underlying health issue. These seizures are most common in children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years. (Anyone else see a connection between the age group for these seizures and the MMR vaccine schedule?).
ATAXIA: A neurological sign consisting of lack of voluntary coordination of muscle movements and is a non-specific clinical manifestation implying dysfunction of the parts of the nervous system that coordinate movement, such as the cerebellum.
OCULAR PALSIES: A condition where the affected individual is unable to move his or her eye normally.
PARESTHESIA: A sensation of tingling, tickling, pricking, or burning of a person’s skin.
PNEUMONIA: An inflammation condition of the lung affecting primarily the microscopic air sacs known as alveoli. It is usually caused by infection with viruses or bacteria.
PNEUMONITIS: An inflammation of lung tissue.
RHINITIS: Irritation and inflammation of the mucous membrane inside the nose. Symptoms include stuffy nose, runny nose, or post-nasal drip.
STEVENS-JOHNSON SYNDROME: A form of toxic epidermal necrolysis which is a life-threatening skin condition in which cell death causes the epidermis to separate from the dermis.
ERYTHEMA MULTIFORME: Is a skin condition of unknown cause, possibly mediated by deposition of immune complex in the superficial microvasculature of the skin and oral mucous membrane that usually follows an infection of drug exposure. The condition varies from a mild, self-limited rash to a severe, life-threatening form known as erythema multiforme major that also involves mucous membranes.
URTICARIA: Commonly referred to as hives, is a kind of skin rash notable for pale red, raised, itchy bumps. Hives may cause a burning or stinging sensation. Hives are frequently caused by allergic reactions.
PRURITIS: Itchy skin that makes you want to scratch.
Local reactions including burning/stinging at injection site.
WHEAL AND FLARE: A skin eruption that may follow injury or injection of a antigen. It is characterized by swelling and redness caused by a release of histamine.
ERYTHEMA: Redness of the skin or mucous membranes caused by hyperemia (increase of blood flow) of superficial capillaries.
INDURATION: Sclerosis or hardening. An abnormally hard spot or place.
VESICULATION (At injection site): The formation of vesicles. Also called blistering, vesication.
Special Senses – Ear
OTITIS MEDIA: A group of inflammatory diseases of the middle ear.
Special Senses – Eye
RETINITIS: Inflammation of the retina in the eye which may lead to blindness.
OPTIC NEURITIS: Inflammation of the optic nerve.
PAPILLITIS: A specific type of Optic Neuritis (see above) when the head of the nerve is involved.
RETROBULBAR NEURITIS: A specific form of Optic Neuritis (see above) when the posterior of the nerve is involved.
EPIDIDYMITIS: A medical condition characterized by discomfort or pain of the epididymis, a curved structure at the back of the testicle in which sperm matures and is stored.
ORCHITIS: Inflammation of the testes.
DEATH (no definition needed).
As we can see in the chart below, the vaccination program hasn’t done anything to decrease infant mortality rates. Question should be, if the science is so settled in one of the most advanced nations on earth, how is it we have such high infant mortality?
Also 7 to 28 days after injection the person who received the vaccine is spreading the virus. According to the MMR insert, “Excretion of small amounts of the live attenuated rubella virus from the nose or throat has occurred in the majority of susceptible individuals 7 to 28 days after vaccination.” This begins to make sense when we learn about Measles outbreaks such as the one at Disneyland where most of the infected were vaccinated against the virus. There is a very good chance patient zero was recently vaccinated. This doesn’t even begin to address the problem of undocumented immigrants who come to this country carrying this disease. But I will leave that for a later discussion.
In light of all these possible adverse reactions to the MMR vaccine I still hear people harp on the progress of science. Maybe I am crazy for my thoughts on this but to say this is the best modern science can do is unacceptable when it comes to the health and well-being of my child. Compare these very serious side effects to the actual measles virus itself, which is a fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes with a rash. Again, as I described earlier, once you get the virus through a mucous membrane and have a normal immune response to the measles virus you have LIFETIME IMMUNITY. Compare this with the MMR vaccine which wears off about a decade after administration.
In a recent Forbes.com article I came across this statement. “If you choose not to vaccinate your child, and your child infects mine and harms or kills them, I believe you ought be held liable for your choice just as we would do for a drunk driver”. (Diamond) To me this is not only a uninformed statement but a form of bullying. For one, the vaccine insert itself says you can spread the virus about 30 days after receiving the vaccine. Also receiving the vaccine does not give you full immunity. So if my child has had the virus and has lifetime immunity how in the world could your child get the virus from my child? This is insanity.
The definition of bully includes “a blustering, quarrelsome, overbearing person who habitually badgers and intimidates small or weaker people.” Doesn’t this sound like the person who makes threats against those who decide to make an informed decision regarding the health of their child?
“I realized that bullying never has to do with you. It’s the bully who’s insecure.” – Shay Mitchell
Instead of demonizing parents who choose not to vaccinate their child due to concerns over the number of adverse reactions we should be demanding better and safer vaccines. After all, if the science is so settled (although science is never settled) then we should be able to immunize ourselves against these diseases with no adverse reactions. Anything less should be unacceptable especially when it concerns the weakest amongst us – our children and elderly.
“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something sometime in your life.” – Winston Churchill.
The bottom line is choice. Every person has a choice. Respect of another person’s choice even when you disagree is the epitome of what freedom is all about. Your child’s well-being and safety are in your hands and they are depending on you to make well educated and informed decisions regarding their health.
Alexandra F. Freeman, M. (n.d.). A New Complication of Stem Cell Transplantation: Measles Inclusion Body Encephalitis. Retrieved from Official Journal Of The American Academy Of Pediatrics: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/114/5/e657.full
Augenstein, D. M. (n.d.). New Study: Vaccinated Children Have 2 to 5 Times More Diseases and Disorders Than Unvaccinated Children. Retrieved from Health Impact News: http://healthimpactnews.com/2011/new-study-vaccinated-children-have-2-to-5-times-more-diseases-and-disorders-than-unvaccinated-children/
Craig Freudenrich, P. (n.d.). How Stuff Works: How Viruses Work. Retrieved from HowStuffWorks.com: http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/cellular-microscopic/virus-human1.htm
Tietje, K. (n.d.). Vaccines: How Long Does Immunity Last? Retrieved from Modern Alternative Mama: http://www.modernalternativemama.com/blog/2011/2/8/vaccines-how-long-does-immunity-last.html
Wikipedia. (n.d.). Retrieved from Measles: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Measles